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Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 12th, 2013 - 13 comments
Categories: interweb - Tags:

My semi-regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring).  This week: Dhaka t-shirts, twitter exclusives, the politics of principle and missing white woman syndrome.

As the death toll exceeds 1000, do you know if your T-shirt made in the Dhaka garment factory? Odds are you have no idea. Many brands are hiding the country, let alone the suppliers of their garments, making it much hard to do ethical purchasing.

I quite like genetic modification, but I don’t like gene-patenting or Monsanto and their business practices – the Herald had a good piece on the problems with GM seeds.

Roy Hattersley, formerly high in UK Labour, argues for the politics of principle rather than populism in the wake of UKIP’s good results over there recently.  It’s not often you hear UK Labour talking about the virtues of Thatcher…

Possibly less principled politics is David Cameron’s new way of getting the media onside: twitter exclusives for the loyal.

If you’re worried about what currency traders get up to, the latest is: lasers.  In the desire for faster trades to make money on the margins, you can be sure it’s a good use of society’s resources to make those traders rich without creating any real wealth…

Also concerning (although also exciting) on the tech front is the world’s new smallest drones.  Very cool being able to fly like a fly, but what will be it’s uses?  And could we all own one?

Finally: missing white woman syndrome.  In the wake of the Ohio kidnapping story, are the media biased towards covering stories with white women as victims?  If you compare the coverage of the white v non-white kidnappee prior and post their discovery, it’s very different.  Coloured people find it hard to get their stories told, and white women are seen as victims – which probably isn’t healthy for anybody.


13 comments on “Sunday Reading”

  1. Paul 1

    Not sure the issue of news coverage is just a gender issue. If you compare the coverage of Boston where 3 people died and Bangladesh where 1000 died, it seems to have a lot more to do with power and wealth. People who the editor of the newspaper might know were killed in Boston, whereas the victims of the Bangladeshi collapse were unknown victims to him. On the same day as Boston, more people died in Pakistan, Venezuela, Somalia and Iraq from ‘terrorist’ attacks and violence….yet we barely see these stories.

  2. prism 2

    I complained to Radionz about their excessive coverage of the USA kidnapped women story.
    Enough is enough is a meaningful phrase sometimes.

  3. prism 3

    Edmund Burke had it right – the difficult concept of doing what the people need – not what this moment they are feeling. He said to –

    the electors of Bristol that their “representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion”.

    The ideal of course is to explain carefully the outcomes of doing the wrong thing, not doing anything, and doing the needed thing. Where I do my volunteer work the staff can’t even remember to put a date on notes they write when passing on messages (often garbled).

    • KJT 3.1

      The problem with that, is the judgement of a politician is more often wrong than the feelings of the people.

      Why have democracy at all if the politicians are always principled and correct.

      What we do know is politicians are mostly self serving, arrogant and ignorant.

      If you think that “the people” are making a mistake, you are as free as anyone else to say so!

      You do not have the right to claim, however, that your judgement is better than the majorities.

      ” Successful businesses involve as many people in decision making as possible.
      Successful businesses involve their staff in decision making,.

      Right wing Neo-Liberal business want Government dictatorship, so long as they run the dictators, and oppose democratic moves like MMP and BCIR.
      Even New Zealands, non binding, referenda, the only Democratic voice allowed in New Zealand, have such a freshold for a triggering petition that they are guaranteed to be very infrequent. ”

      Even, way to many left wing politicians, depressingly, seem to think their moment in dictatorship is more important than democracy.

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        We have 121 Senators, Ancient Rome had more representatives. We need a upper chamber to challenged the executive from the other side, a body that the lower house has to look up to.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Can you please show me where an upper chamber actually works as you envisage it?

          In the US it’s usually the case that the two chambers conflict with each other and end up actually making worse law.
          In the UK the House of Lords has passed stupid laws that couldn’t be enforced and had the world laughing at them.

          From what I can make out you have a belief about upper houses that is not grounded in reality.

          • prism

            Yes I think an upper house is often a repository for career pollies who settle down to conserving what ever laws that enable them and their peers (small p) to lead a good life.
            Don’t make waves, Roger, steady as she goes and don’t let those damn (women, other races, unemployed …. fill in the perceived omission) go on upsetting the good running of the country. Wot!!

            I used to think that an upper house would provide sage opinions but I’ve noticed that they can tie up the work of the lower house. Apparently Obama has this trouble and it just about emasculates a real working leader and government desiring to make needed changes for the betterment of the country, and what it does to a woman leader I couldn’t say.

            • aerobubble

              Oh, yeah, what an argument, the USA or UK would be better off without a upper chamber because you and others can’t imagine that have more people in the chain of legislation would increase the number of eyes, and the potential that they may have a conscious, against say, eugenics, or nuclear war, or any of the other immense powers these states possess.

              Its a joy to listen to people who can’t see the reality that none of the Australian states have upper chambers, and that the move to remove ours consistent with the needs of our Australian owners.

      • prism 3.1.2

        Well you sound very noble and principled in your comments but anyone who relies on the people alone to make judgements may find outliers being lynched under that type of decision making. Which gets hot about things, with the hottest hotheads and most determined taking the lead and action following that’s cathartic and then a desire to avoid self-recrimination and blame amongst the perpetrators and the rest who supported, or didn’t support but were afraid to stop it, or who didn’t care.

        The people are not necessarily better or as committed to doing the job of running the country and making decisions for all than pollies are. I think that is the point I wanted to make. Sometimes the polly has to go against a feeling or opinion, but can he or she justify it, and does it serve the people as a whole in its outcomes in the long run? And do they talk to the people who want to think about it, or as in a recent interview with a prominent Maori negotiator, do they just get ‘overhead slideshows’.

    • ghostrider888 3.2

      Neo- on Sin and Human Nature; God gets all the good lines, and the last word; old and fashionable references brought forward and noted modestly.(you can quote me, on that maxim). 😀

  4. joe90 4

    Not sure where this belongs but here it is for Poe fans: Q (John De Lancie) reads The Raven.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    but I don’t like gene-patenting…

    One change to patents that I’ve been thinking about is making so that anything that is a result of natural laws cannot be patented. This would deal to those malicious companies that are hell bent on patenting life and probably the drug companies as well.

  6. Murray Olsen 6

    I bet the same people using laser networks to shovel more money into their pockets (they don’t create wealth) hate the idea of public funding of education. It would be great if scientists could strike to stop their developments being used for this stuff, but we won’t 🙁

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